The top prizes in the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival went to two local players.
In the Men’s competition it was South Ramsey’s John Kennish who picked up his fourth September Festival win and the winners cheque for £3,000. Kennish had to overcome the challenge of Onchan man Peter Slinger in a repeat of the 2017 Manx Championship on the same green, this was also the first all local final since September 2014 between John Kennish and Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly.
The final started with Slinger taking a single point on the first end after trailing the jack with his last bowl. The second end proved to be crucial and was probably a first for a festival final with Slinger heading for the corner the jack went off the green, allowing Kennish the opportunity to set the mark, to which Kennish then headed for the edge also sending the jack off, allowing Slinger a second chance to set the mark again in the corner however the jack went off the green once again. Kennish didn’t waste the second opportunity of setting the mark along the edge. From there Kennish was ruthless wasting little more than 20 minutes to win the game picking up five two’s and five one’s along the way. To be fair to Slinger he was never far away with his bowls just pegging away at the end or falling just short or running out, it is more a reflection of how devastating Kennish was on the day. Slinger could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000.
Kennish reached the final courtesy of a 21-13 win over David Jackson (Knutsford), whilst Slinger booked his place in the final defeating Callum Wraight (Knutsford) in a thrilling game coming back from 6-12 down, then 13-17 down before Slinger got level at 17-17. Slinger headed for the corner and played two poor bowls, which Wraight wasn’t able to punish fully taking just a point to go 18-17 up. Slinger picked up a single on the next end up to the crown to level matters again, then lay one next end with Wraight contemplating striking which was risky given how close his own bowl was to the one he was hoping to take out. Wraight struck taking out his own bowl to gift Slinger two to go 20-18 up. Slinger headed along the edge on a straight peg which is well known to be a push to reach into, he led a good bowl with Wraight pushing two yards through. Crucially Slinger made two with Wraight playing through taking out Slinger’s nearest bowl, however Slinger’s other bowl was left counting for game to win 21-18.
The quarter finals were all fairly straightforward with Kennish seeing off Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) with a 21-10 win. The closest game of the quarters was between John Bailey (Knutsford) and David Jackson, with Jackson falling 7-10 behind early on, before taking a 17-11 lead and eventually seeing the game out 21-17. Wraight ended the challenge of Danny Petcher (Netherseal) with a 21-12 win. Slinger booked his place in the semi-final courtesy of a 21-14 win over Gareth Jones (Dalton Cricket).
There is always that one game in a festival that makes or breaks you and that came for Kennish on the Thursday afternoon against another local Trevor Quayle (Port St Mary) in the last 16 with Kennish edging it 21-20 with Quayle leading for the entire game and having a good opportunity on the last end to win it. Kennish has now won five Isle of Man festival titles, with one June win and four September wins it is surely only a question of when, not if he will pick up his next title. John will also be playing in the Champion of Champions at Blackpool at the end of the month, an event that he had already qualified for through winning the Manx Championship earlier in the season.
In the Ladies main competition it was another South Ramsey player Elaine Moore who won the Ladies title and the cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-18 win over Gill Simm (Lune Road) with Simm being quickest out of the blocks taking a 14-8 lead with Moore working her way back into the game to go 17-16 ahead slightly varying the length being played. Simm took two singles on the next two ends to take the lead 18-17. Moore dug in to take two singles and a two on the last end playing over the crown to win her first festival and the relief and emotion was clear for everyone to see.
In the semi-finals Simm booked her place in the final with a 21-10 win over Helen Clee (Wrockwardine Wood), whilst Moore was pushed all the way by daughter Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) with Elaine fighting back from 12-18 down to eventually win 21-20 after lying two down at 20-20 Elaine trailed the jack with a brilliant bowl to reach the final.
Gill Simm started her day with a 21-16 win over Veronica Lyon (Unison), whilst Helen Clee ended the challenge of Alison Cotton with a hard fought 21-17 win. Jenny Moore made light work of her quarter final game with a 21-11 win over Margo Sinclare (Meersbrook BC) whilst Elaine Moore had to battle hard to see off Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace BC) with a 21-18 win having lost to Ryan in the semi-finals of the Tourism on Thursday morning.
Elaine certainly won her first festival the hard way with her games from the quarter finals onwards all being close, and having to play two of the favourites on the way against her daughter Jenny Moore and Tracy Ryan, no doubt Elaine was made all the more determined having suffered the heartache of losing out in the final of the June festival to Debbie Farmer on a particularly wet finals day several years ago. Elaine has also qualified to play in the Champion of Champions at the Waterloo Hotel in Blackpool.
Following their festival wins John Kennish received the Chris Quayle trophy for the furthest Manx Man, whilst Elaine Moore received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with Colin Kelly (Marown) performing brilliantly in the corners to take the Tourism title defeating Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) 21-11.
Kelly booked his place in the final with a hard fought win over Callum Wraight (Knutsford), whilst Ditchfield defeated Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel).
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace) who defeated Helen Martin (North Ramsey) 21-13 in the final.
Tracy Ryan booked her place in the final following a tough game with Elaine Moore (South Ramsey), whilst Helen Martin ended the run of Lynn Bennett (Orrell Rovers).
The Men’s consolation was won by Chris Talbot (Knutsford) who beat Robert Whyatt (Packhorse BC) 21-9. The Ladies consolation was won by Hazel Borrowdale (Kendal Vic) defeating Olwen Edwards (Llanfair PG) 21-20 in a close final.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Paul Beer (Meole Brace) who had a 9-6 win over Callum Wraight (Knutsford), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Neil Rigden (New Longton) who beat John Clark (Wrockwardine Wood) 21-19 in another close final.
In the doubles competitions the Open Doubles was won by Peter Yates (Kirkham) and Steve McCall (Kirkham) with a 11-5 win over Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) and Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic).
The Men’s doubles was won by Walter McCarthy (Marown) and David Jackson (Knutsford) defeating Paul Bailey (Meersbrook BC) and Frank Jolly (Canberra) 11-6 in an entertaining final.
The Ladies pairs was won convincingly 11-1 by Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) and Carleen Doody-Millington (Meole Brace) who beat Sylvia Bentham (Tarleton) and Joan Jolly (Canberra).
The Mixed pairs was won by Patricia Edwards (Winstanley) and Michael Coupe (Hoghton) defeating Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 9-4.
September Festival Preview
The Isle of Man September Bowling Festival takes place this week with a host of top names from across the game hoping to be the one that gets their name on the trophy and the winners cheque for £3,000.
It’s seems like an awful long time since South Ramsey’s John Kennish won back to back Festivals in September 2014 and then June 2015, however it is the first festival since then that Kennish has not had to give his opponents a start due to his previous successes.
Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) makes his first visit to the Island since becoming a father, will be looking to pick up his first festival since 2010, whilst Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) could face Ditchfield in the second round, however with Gant having to give his opponents a two start this could make it more difficult to progress.
2012 winner Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is another one who will be hoping to get his name on the trophy for a second time, whilst 2017 winner John Bailey (Knutsford) will be looking to retain the trophy he won for the first time last year after years of trying.
On the same page as Bailey is three time winner Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) with a potential fourth round clash.
June festival winner Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) will be hoping for back to back festival wins, having last won the September title in 1999 when he beat Norman Fletcher (Blackpool) in the final.
Another regular visitor to the Island Callum Wraight (Knutsford) will be hoping to secure his first festival win having won most of the games biggest prizes, this is one he will be keen to tick off his list.
With six greens in use and nine different competitions throughout the week there is plenty of bowls for everyone and with the weather looking good it should make for a great week of bowls.
Have a great week!
The top prizes in the Isle of Man June Bowls Festival went to two Cumbria players.
In the Men’s competition it was Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) from Cumbria who picked up his first June Festival win and the winners cheque for £3,000. Gilpin had to overcome the challenge of Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) in a thrilling final on a tricky green. Kelly was quickest out of the blocks taking a 13-6 lead, then 16-9 and 17-13. From there Gilpin chipped away at the lead to draw level with his opponent. At 19-19 Gilpin sent the jack out which was less than a yard from the edge, however he was unable to keep his first bowl on the green. Kelly played a yard short bowl which Gilpin was unable to beat with his second, and Kelly missed the opportunity to make two for game. At 20-19 up Kelly led a bowl two foot to the side of the jack with Gilpin putting one a similar distance the other side of the jack. Kelly made sure he was counting by glancing the jack towards his side bowl to lie two and within touching distance of his first Festival win. Gilpin had other ideas, ensuring he reached to sit on Kelly’s back bowl to count one to leave the score tied at 20-20. Gilpin headed for a longer length mark and left his bowl just under a yard away, which Kelly was unable to beat which gave Gilpin the title. Kelly had the blow softened receiving a cheque for £1,000.
Gilpin reached the final courtesy of a 21-10 win over Colin Price (Dukinfield Central), whilst Kelly booked his place in the final defeating Thongsbridge team mate Craig Gant 21-9.
All the quarter finals in the Men’s tournament were the closest games I can recall with Onchan’s Matthew Quirk losing 19-21 to Price. Quirk received the George Craine trophy for the furthest Manxman. Phil Lee (Wallasey) just lost out 20-21 to Gilpin, whilst Gant ended the challenge of Nigel Briggs (Brighouse) 21-19. Finishing off the close games Kelly played another Thongsbridge team mate Jack Dyson with this also going to the wire with Kelly winning 21-19.
In the Ladies main competition it was another player from Cumbria Angela Athersmith (Ulverston Cons) who won the Ladies title and a cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-19 win over Caroline Hall (Cleveleys WM) with the final being nip and tuck all the way through with neither player able to take control of the game. Hall received a cheque for £600 as runner up.
The semi-finals were close with Hall defeating Rachel Quirk (Crossgates) 21-17 to reach the final, whilst Athersmith was pushed harder by Diane Harrison (Lune Road) 21-19.
Furthest local player reaching the quarter finals was South Ramsey’s Elaine Moore who received the Visit IOM.com trophy. Moore’s challenge was ended by Hall 13-21. Joyce Foxcroft (Lune Road) lost 10-21 to Quirk, whilst one of the favourites Sarah Fox (Woodlands) lost 20-21 to Harrison. Karen Hill (Ossett Flying Horse) lost 10-21 to Athersmith.
The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with James Wilcox (Crossgates) following up on his June Festival win in 2017 with the Tourism title defeating Callum Wraight (Castlefields) 21-18 in an entertaining final.
Losing semi-finalists were Phil Lee 18-21 (Wallasey) to Wilcox, whilst Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) lost out 12-21 to Wraight.
The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green with another entertaining final it was Sarah Fox (Woodlands) who held her nerve to bowl a winner at 20-20 which after being measured in this was enough to earn the Tourism title with a 21-20 win over Jackie Butterworth (Knutsford BC).
Fox earned her place in the final following a hard fought 21-20 semi-final win over Debbie Leece (Noble’s) after coming back from 16-20 down. In the other semi-final Butterworth had a comfortable 21-10 win over Mary Alderson (Marown) to book her place in the final.
The Men’s consolation was won by Melvyn Byron (Marton Institute) who beat Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 21-17 in a close final. The Ladies consolation was won by a regular visitor to the Island with Joyce Jones (Syke BC) defeating Amanda Nicholson (Gresford Colliery) 21-16.
The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who had a 9-3 win over Martyn Watkin (Cortonwood), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) who beat Craig Ramell (Rishton) 21-15.
In the doubles competitions the Open Doubles was won by Joshua Mordue (Pudsey) and Joseph Cranston (Crossgates) with a 11-8 win over Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) and Stevie Kelly (Peel Sunset) in a close final.
The Men’s doubles was won by Joseph Cranston (Crossgates) and David Gwilliam (Nursery Inn) who beat Alex Power (Bar Lane) and Dean Butler (Rishton) 11-6 in the final.
The Ladies pairs was won 11-8 by Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) and Shelley Kennish (South Ramsey) who beat Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Ossett Flying Horse) and Diane Harrison (Lune Road)
The Mixed pairs had local representation with Edward Carlyle (Onchan) and Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) just losing out 7-9 to Lee Longland (Rishton) and Sarah Edmondson (Rishton).
The eagerly awaited Isle of Man June Festival takes place the week commencing 18th June with a good entry of over 340 in the Men’s competition.
On the first page of the draw former festival winner Gaz Lally (Crossgates) takes on Stewart Meddings (Royal Oak BC) in what should be a good game with both having expectations to go far in the competition. Former finalist Carl Fielding (Bradford Arms) will also be looking to make it to the latter stages, whilst Matthew Kelly-Walley (Stratton Anglesey) could face Billy Speed (Castlefields) in the second round. Local player and another former festival winner David Bradford will be looking to pick up his second title and first June win.
On the second page Ryan Clark (Thongsbridge) takes on Ian Sherbrooke (Wallasey) in the first round. Also on this page are current title holder James Wilcox (Crossgates) who starts off a handicap of two and Chris Mordue (Brighouse) who will be hoping to make it a memorable week.
On page three Joshua Mordue (Pudsey) will also be looking to have a good run, whilst regular visitor and serial winner Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) will be confident of another victory on Manx soil (or grass!) Another former winner Marown man Colin Kelly could well face Phil Lee (Wallasey) in what could be an entertaining game.
On the next page Andrew Spragg (Eastwood Park) will take on local Stevie Kelly (Peel) who will be looking to take a good scalp in his first game. If Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) and Nick White are able to navigate their way through their first game they could face each other in the second round. South Ramsey’s John Kennish the Islands most decorated player has his handicap back up to four, having been as low as scratch thanks to his September 2014 win, which was followed up in style with his June 2015 win despite giving most of his opponents a three start. Kennish will be confident of reaching the latter stages and would be a strong tip to make finals day.
On page five two players jump out with Richie Goddard (Castlefields) on the top half of the page and last year’s runner up Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) in the bottom half. Both players would need to win four games to face each other and if the festival has taught me anything it is that there is always plenty of shocks throughout the week, so neither player will be counting their chickens.
Looking at page six Andrew Duckett (Castlefields) will be hoping to have a good run with Brian Smith (Stratton Anglesey) standing firmly in his way with a potential second round face off.
Over to page seven and Nigel Hughes (Wirral) could face Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) as early as Wednesday afternoon in the third round, whilst Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton RC) could play Carl Armitage (St Oswalds) in his second game with the winner potentially taking on Rob Fitzpatrick (Wallasey) in the next round.
On page eight Paul Morgan (Woodlands Park) winner of the September Festival in 1998 makes his long awaited return to the Island and faces Tommy King (Marton) who knows the Islands greens well with both players hoping to be on top of their game to ensure they make it through to the second round. Onchan man Kevin Quirk is finding form at the right time and will be hoping to pick up his first title after having gone close in previous years. Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) takes on Ian Hazlehurst (Wallasey) in his first round game, whilst Andrew Sorsby (Thongsbridge) will be keen to progress to the latter stages.
On page nine Marown captain Paul Dunn will be looking to take his league form into the festival, however he could have the tricky task of facing Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) in his second game. Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) could have dodged a bullet in his second game with Danny Barwise (Wallasey) now rumoured to be unable to make it to the Island due to work commitments.
Page ten, this is littered with previous winners. Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) is the first of these and he could face Ben Gloag (Nursery Inn) in his third game which could make for great viewing, whilst Kez Smith (Crossgates) another former winner could face Jon Palmer (Castlefields) in his second game in what could be a fascinating battle. Jon Guess (Fairfield) could face Smith or Palmer in the next round should he find his way through two games. Neil Withers (Marown) is another of a handful of local players to have lifted the trophy and could face another former winner Alan Gilpin (Kendal Vic) in his third game, whilst Alan Belcher (Dukki Central) will be hoping to surpass his previous best in the competition to secure his first festival title.
On the final page Callum Wraight (Castlefields) is another regular visitor to the Island and will know full well that whilst it appears his half of the page is favourable, he will need to ensure he wins those games to make the eagerly anticipated Thursday afternoon, which never fails to throw out some classic encounters. Wraight will be a big favourite to reach the latter stages. On the other half of the page Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) could face David Jackson (Knutsford) in Wednesday afternoon, whilst Mark Hughes (Crossgates) will be hoping to secure his first festival win having gone close previously.
Whilst I can’t guarantee the weather what should shine through, however, is the quality of the field and the week of bowls we have in store for us, with the Tourism, Men’s Doubles, Open Doubles, various flyers and consolation competitions there is plenty of bowls to be played & enjoyed for all.
Best of luck to all visitors and locals who are taking part throughout the week.
Link to IOM June Festival Draw for Ladies & Men
John Bailey (Llanrwst) was the cream of the crop as he picked up his first title in the main event at the Isle of Man Bowls Festival last week, having been successful in the Tourism competition in previous years.
He began his day with a last bowl victory over Neil Rigden (New Longton), before getting the better of former champ Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) in the semis.
His opponent, Mark Hughes from Crossgates, began with a 21-16 win against Chris Slater (Colwyn Bay); then cruised to the final by beating another Welsh player, Gwerydd Buckland (Bangor City).
The destination of the Derek Killey memorial trophy was ultimately decided by a great spell in the middle of the game when Bailey notched up five successive two’s to turn a deficit into a seven point advantage.
He led 19-12 at this stage, however Hughes then dug deep to increase his total to 16, but it was not to be for the Crossgates man, who had won the Tourism event back in 2012, as his opponent scored the two required to taste victory with a 21-16 scoreline.
Competing in the quarter-finals of the ladies main tournament were locals Lyn Bolton (South Ramsey) and Caroline Parker (Mooragh Park); Lyn making it through to the semi-finals, whilst Caroline lost out in her opening game.
This final was fought out between Anita Richardson (Hoylake & Melrose) who had beaten Bolton, and Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) who eliminated her fellow Shropshire opponent, Julie Pearce (Meole Brace) in the last four.
Gaut, who had also been successful in the Tourism competition on previous visits, trailed her opponent in the early stages, before moving ahead 16-15 after 18 ends.
Richardson then put five chalks on the board, compared to just one for Gaut, and was on the brink of her first success leading out at 20-17.
Having been beaten in a pre-festival competition and not wishing to lose out in two finals on the Island, Gaut showed her battling qualities and notched up the four points needed to win the ladies September festival rose bowl.
Lyn Bolton won the Blanche Kaye memorial cup for the furthest Manx player in the ladies contest; whilst her club-mate Alan Moore did likewise in the men’s tournament, collecting the Chris Quayle memorial shield.
A wet Thursday morning saw the conclusion of the men’s and ladies Tourism competitions, with five locals in action – Matthew Keggen (Marown) bowed out first game and John Kennish (South Ramsey) lost in the semi-finals; whilst in the ladies, Margie Tasker (Port St Mary) and Philippa Taylor (Marown), both missed out by just one point; the latter beaten by Elaine Moore (South Ramsey), who fell at the next hurdle.
The men’s final saw two of the sport’s big names go head to head, as Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) took on Terry Glover (LCC), both having won major honours off-island as well as previous Isle of Man festivals.
Held on Noble’s number one green, the game was evenly balanced all through; they were level at nine apiece, again at 13, and then at 17 across, before Glover recorded the four points needed for victory.
Close-by on number two green, the Meole Brace club provided three of the last four in the ladies contest, with club-mates Julie Pearce and Alison Cotton battling it out for the championship.
Cotton took control in the early stages and led 18-13, before her adversary fought back to move ahead 20-18, however Pearce couldn’t carry on her good run of points and Cotton clinched the title by the closest of margins and completed a double over her fellow club members.
Rounding up the remaining competitions that took place throughout the week, Kevin Quirk (Onchan) just missed out on a win in the men’s consolation, going down 21-20 to Rob Winnington (Castle) and in the ladies consolation, it was Sue Hill from the Meersbrook club who triumphed over Elizabeth Foster (Orrell Rovers) with the same scoreline.
The visit Isle of Man.com flyer saw Mike Coupe (Hoghton) get the better off Neil Wright (Norton Central). Helen Martin (Mooragh Park) lost to the eventual winner in her semi-final.
Jamie King added to the tally of wins for the Wrockwardine Wood entourage when he was successful in the last chance mixed event with a 21-16 victory over Colin Johnstone (St Bernards).
King then went on to partner Sarah Fox (Woodlands Park) in their mixed doubles success. They beat Joan Jolly (Acregate) and Michael Burrows (Orford Warrington Memorial).
Neil Wright also made it into two finals, having taken part in the men’s doubles, which was one of three pairs competitions completed on Thursday evening; he partnered Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) to victory over Michael Davies (Netherton Park) and Stuart Sutton (Fairfield).
There was a local triumph in the open pairs when Neil Withers and Paul Dunn (Marown) defeated Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) and Duncan Reeves (Netherton Cons).
Lynda Cadamy from Port Erin competed in the ladies doubles final with Sandra Beveridge (Lansil), but missed out when beaten by Jacqueline Owen (Whitefield) and Eileen Pye (Acregate).
Thanks go to the Department of Economic Development for their continued support, of what is without doubt one of the premier events on the bowling calendar. Also Manx Telecom who provided a unit to help spread the news around the internet.
A big thank you as always to the many helpers who gave their time at all the venues used throughout the week; and a special mention to David Higgins who is stepping down after 15 years as helpers’ coordinator for the men.